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English & Welsh Resources for Family Historians: Harleian collection

The State Library of South Australia has a large number of resources that may assist you in tracing your English or Welsh ancestry. This guide also contains websites of interest, contact details for relevant organisations and tips & tricks.

2nd Earl of Oxford

File:Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford by Jonathan Richardson.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford
Born:      2 June 1689
Died:      16 June 1741 (aged 52)
Title:      2nd Earl of Oxford
Other Titles:   Earl Mortimer
Offices:   MP for Radnor & Cambridgeshire
Parents:  Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer & Elizabeth Foley
Spouse:  Lady Henrietta Cavendish Holles

The collection

One of the treasures of the State Library is the Harleian Collection, named after Edward Harley who was the second Earl of Oxford (1689-1741). Edward inherited a large library from his father in 1724 and continued to add to the collection throughout his life. At the time of Edward's death the collection included around 8,000 manuscripts, 50,000 volumes of printed books, 41,000 prints, and 350,000 pamphlets.

The Dictionary of National Biography entry says that after his death his wife sold the collection, presumably to try and recoup some of the fortune which she had brought to the marriage and which she believed Edward had wasted due to his 'indolence and good-nature and a want of worldly wisdom'. The manuscript collection was sold to the British nation for 10,000 pounds, and it is these manuscripts which now form the Harleian Collection.

The Harleian Society was formed in the late nineteenth century to index and publish this collection, which it is still doing, and the State Library of South Australia has purchased its publications since the program began.

There is an amazing amount of diverse information contained within the collection. In particular, for people with ancestors who lived in London there are 84 volumes of Parish Registers which contain invaluable information.

An important part of the collection are the Visitations of various counties, whereby Heralds of the College of Arms began visiting families throughout England during the 15th century. The purpose of the Visitations was to confirm and register the arms of those who claimed to be gentry. As a way of proving their rights families would supply pedigrees and it is these which are recorded in the books. Although some claims of entitlement to arms were not valid, the volumes are a marvelous starting point. Once a pedigree is known, it can be verified using Parish Registers and other documentation.

To access the Harleian Collection, identify the volumes required from the list shown, and ask at the Information Desk to see them. Please indicate whether the volumes are visitations or parish registers, as there are three sequences. The volumes are read in the Somerville Reading Room, access requires a reader's pass, which staff at the Information Desk will issue.  Please provide identification showing a current address.

Volumes available online

Recently the Harleian Society has begun uploading volumes from the Visitation Series, Register Series and New Series.  Items have been scanned in various file forms to allow greatest access.  Go to Harleian Society Publictations and click on the hyperlink (volume number) for the volume you want to view.  File options will appear in a box on the left hand side.   Note not all volumes are available online.

Each volume has an index. There is no index for the whole collection.

Also available at http://archive.org and using search terms Harleian, visitations, allegations.

 

Harleian Collection volumes held in the State Library

Visitations

Volume Title
1 Not held
2 The Visitation of the County of Leicester in the year 1619
3 The Visitation of the County of Rutland in the year 1618-19
4 The Visitations of the County of Nottingham in the years 1569 and1614
5 The Visitations of the County of Oxford
6 The visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1620
7 The Visitation of the County of Cumberland in the year 1615
8 Le Neve's Pedigrees of the knights
9 The Visitation of the County of Cornwall in the year 1620
10 Not held
11 The visitation of the County of Somerset in the year 1623
12 The Visitation of the County of Warwick
13 The Visitations of Essex
14 The Visitations of Essex
15 The Visitation of London
16 The Visitation of Yorkshire in the years 1563 and 1564
17 The Visitation of London
18 The Visitation of Cheshire in the year 1580
19 The Visitations of Bedfordshire
20 The Visitation of the County of Dorset
21 The Visitation of the County of Gloucester
22 The Visitations of Hertfordshire
23 Allegations for marriage licences (Westminster)
24 Allegations for marriage licences issued from the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury at London
25 - 26 Allegations for marriage licences (London)
27 The Visitation of the County of Worcester
28 - 29 The Visitation of Shropshire
30 - 31 Allegations for marriage licences (Canterbury)
32 The Visitacion of Norffolk
33 - 34 Allegations for marriage licences (Canterbury)
35 - 36 Hampshire allegations for marriage licences
37 - 40 Familiae minorum gentium
41 The visitation of Cambridge
42 The Visitation of Kent
43 The Visitations of the County of Surrey
44-49 Obituary, prior to 1800
50 - 52 Lincolnshire pedigrees
53 The visitations of the County of Sussex
54 A visitation of the county of Kent
55 Lincolnshire pedigrees
56 - 57 The four visitations of Berkshire
58 The visitation of the county of Buckingham
59 Pedigrees made at the visitation of Cheshire 1613
60 A visitation of the County of Surrey
61 A visitation of the county of Suffolk
62 The visitation of the county of Warwick
63 Staffordshire pedigrees based on the visitation
64 Not held
65 Middlesex pedigrees
66 Grantees of arms
67 - 68 Grantees of arms
69 - 72 Allegations for marriage licences in the Archdeaconry of Sudbury
73 The visitation of the County of Rutland
74 - 75 The visitations of Kent : taken in the years 1530-1
76 - 77 A collection of miscellaneous grants, crests, confirmations…
78 - 79 An index of persons named in early Chancery proceedings…
80 - 84 Knights of Edward I
85 - 86 The visitation of Norfolk, anno Domini 1664
87 The visitation of the county of Northampton in the year 1681
88 Hunter's pedigrees : a continuation of Familiae minorum gentium
89 The visitation of Sussex : anno Domini 1662
90 The visitation of Worcestershire, 1634
91 East Anglian pedigrees
92 London visitation pedigrees, 1664
93 Cheshire visitation pedigrees, 1663
94 - 96 Yorkshire pedigrees
97 East Anglian pedigrees
98 Heraldry from military monuments before 1350
99 A Genealogical guide Part 1 (A - E)
100 A catalogue of English mediaeval rolls of arms
101 - 102 A genealogical guide Part 2 (E - L), Part 3 (L - S)
103 Origins of some Anglo- Norman Families
104 A genealogical guide Part 4 (S - Z)
105 - 106 Wiltshire visitation pedigrees, 1623
107 Reports of heraldic cases in the Court of Chivalry, 1623-1723
108 Merchants' marks
109 - 110 Visitation of London, 1568 : with additional pedigrees 1569-90
111 -112 The life of William Bruges : the first Garter King of Arms
113 - 114 Rolls of arms, Henry III
115 - 116 A catalogue of the Earl Marshal's papers at Arundel Castle
117 The visitation of Dorset, 1677
   

New Series

 
1 Temple Church (London, England)
2-3 The visitation of Suffolk, 1561
4 Munimenta Heraldica : MCCCCLXXXIV to MCMLXXXIV
5 The visitation of Nottinghamshire begun in 1662
6 Dugdale's Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire visitation papers
7 A catalogue of Welsh manuscripts in the College of Arms
8 The visitation of Derbyshire
9 The Bigland pedigree index
10  
11 The visitation of Somerset and the City of Bristol 1672
12 The visitation of Oxfordshire, 1669 and 1675
13 The visitation of the county of Huntingdon, 1684
14 Visitations by the Heralds in Wales
15 The visitation of Herefordshire, 1634
   

Original series including Parish Registers

1 St. Peter upon Cornhill (Church : London, England)
2 Christninges, marriages, and burials within the precinct of the cathedrall and metropoliticall church of Christe of Canterburie
3 The reiester booke of Saynte De'nis, Backchurch parishe (City of London) for maryages, christenynges, and buryalles
4 St. Peter upon Cornhill (Church : London, England)
5 The parish registers of St. Mary Aldermary, London
6 The Parish registers of St. Thomas the Apostle, London
7 The parish registers of St. Michael, Cornhill, London
8 The parish registers of St. Antholin, Budge Row, London
9 - 10 Christeninges, mariages, and burialles in the parishe of St. James, Clarkenwell
10 The marriage, baptismal and burial registers of the Collegiate Church or Abbey of St. Peter, Westminster
11 Marriages belonging to the parish of St.George, Hanover Square, in the County of Middlesex
12 The registers of Stourton, county Wilts, from 1570 to 1800
13 Christeninges, mariages, and burialles in the parishe of St. James, Clarkenwell
14 Marriages belonging to the parish of St.George, Hanover Square, in the County of Middlesex
15 St. George's Chapel (London, England)
16 The parish register of Kensington, co. Middlesex
17 Christeninges, mariages, and burialles in the parishe of St. James, Clarkenwell
18 The registers and monumental inscriptions of Charterhouse Chapel
19 - 20 Christeninges, mariages, and burialles in the parishe of St. James, Clarkenwell
21 The registers of Christ Church, Newgate, 1538 to 1754
22 Marriages belonging to the parish of St.George, Hanover Square, in the County of Middlesex
23 Cathedral Church of Christ and Blessed Mary the Virgin at Durham
24 Marriages belonging to the parish of St.George, Hanover Square, in the County of Middlesex
25 St. Martin in the Fields, in the county of Middlesex
26 The registers of St. Paul's Cathedral
28 - 27 The registers of the Abbey church of SS. Peter and Paul, Bath
29 - 30 The registers of St. Vedast, Foster Lane, and of St. Michael le Quern, London
31 The registers of St. Helen's, Bishopgate, London
32 The registers of St. Martin Outwich, London
33 - 37 The registers of St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden, London
38 - 41 St. Benet, Paul's Wharf (Church : London, England)
42 The registers of St. Mildred, Bread Street and of St. Margaret Moses, Friday Street, London
43 The registers of All Hallows, Bread Street, and of St. John the Evangelist, Friday Street, London
44 - 45 The registers of St. Mary le Bowe, Cheapside, All Hallows, HoneyLane, and of St. Pancras, Soper Lane, London
46 The registers of St. Olave, Hart Street, London, 1563-1700
47 - 48 The registers of marriages of St. Mary le Bone, Middlesex .and of Oxford Chapel, Vere Street, St. Mary le Bone, 1736-1754
49 - 50 The registers of St. Stephen's, Walbrook, and of St. Benet Sherehog
51 - 57 The registers of marriages of St. Mary le Bone, Middlesex .and of Oxford Chapel, Vere Street, St. Mary le Bone, 1736-1754
58 The register of St. Mary Mounthaw, London, 1568-1849
59 - 60 The register of St. Mary Somerset, London
61 - 62 The registers of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, London
63 The register of St. Matthew, Friday Street, London,
64 The registers of St. Margaret's, Westminster
65 The registers of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, London
66 St. Martin in the Fields, in the county of Middlesex
67 - 68 The register of St. Clement, Eastcheap, and St. Martin Orgar
69 The register of St. Dunstan in the East, London ...
70 - 71 The register of St. Lawrence Jewry, London, 1538-1676
72 - 74 The registers of St. Mary Magdalen, Milk Street, 1558-1666
75 - 77 The registers of St. Katharine by the Tower, London
78 - 79 The registers of St. Katharine by the Tower, London
80 - 81 The registers of St. Katharine by the Tower, London
82 - 83 The register-booke of the Fourth Classis (London)
84 - 87 The register of St. Dunstan in the East, London ...
88 - 89 The registers of St. Margaret's, Westminster
90-106 Not held
107 Reports of heraldic cases in the Court of Chivalry
108-167 Not held
168 The book of the Ordre of chyualry